29 Nov 1994 : Column WA33
29th November 1994
ENTRY CLEARANCE APPLICATIONS: LIST OF DESIGNATED POSTS
Baroness Eccles of Moulton asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will ensure that copies of the list of posts designated to accept entry clearance applications are placed in the Libraries of the House each time the list is revised.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): Yes. Amended lists are presented to the Libraries of both Houses following each revision, which will normally be made twice yearly. I have arranged for the latest lists to be placed in the Libraries today. Members of the public may obtain copies from the Migration and Visa Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
ABM TREATY: DISCUSSIONS
Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they have yet discussed with the United States, Russia, or states of the European Union, the United States desire to amend the United States/Soviet Union bilateral ABM Treaty of 1972 in ways which would affect British and European and global security; and if so what views have they expressed.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We have regular discussions with the United States and other allies on our common security interests. That naturally includes the importance of ensuring that any changes which might be made to the 1972 ABM Treaty should not adversely affect the Alliance's security. The details of the discussions between the United States and the Russian Federation on the ABM Treaty are a matter for the two governments concerned.
BILATERAL STRATEGIC STABILITY TALKS
Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether a so-called "strategic stability group" has been formed between the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation (BBC Monitoring Service, SWB SU/2111 B/10); if so what topics are discussed in it, and whether they include the possible revision or amendment of the ABM Treaty.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We regularly hold bilateral strategic stability talks with the Russians at senior official level to discuss a wide range of international security issues of joint concern. The last session of talks were held in London in May, and we hope the next will take place in Moscow in early 1995. The meetings have not discussed the possible revision or amendment of the ABM Treaty.
29 Nov 1994 : Column WA34
ROAD PRICING IN LONDON: STUDY
Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:
When they propose to publish the results of the three-year research programme on road pricing in London, announced by the then Secretary of State for Transport in October 1991.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): The findings of the London congestion charging study will be published next year.
MARINE POLLUTION: RESPONSE TO REPORT
Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:
When they expect to publish their response to the report of Lord Donaldson of Lymington's inquiry into the prevention of marine pollution from merchant shipping.
Viscount Goschen: Work is well advanced, both in taking forward the report's recommendations and in preparing a response. We believe that it makes sense to delay publication to take account of current developments in the European Community and in the International Maritime Organisation. As a consequence, we now hope to publish the response in the new year.
HANSARD ON CD-ROM
Lord Avebury asked the Chairman of Committees:
Whether Lords are entitled to receive the Official Report (Hansard) on CD-ROM instead of the paper edition.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): Now that the Official Report (Hansard) is available on CD-ROM, Lords may order from the Printed Paper Office either the printed bound volumes or the CD-ROMs. In addition, Lords may receive the daily or weekly parts on paper.
FISHERIES COUNCIL, 23RD NOVEMBER 1994
Viscount Davidson asked Her Majesty's Government:
What was the outcome of the Fisheries Council held in Brussels on 23rd November.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe): My honourable friend the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food attended a meeting of the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 23rd November, with my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Scottish Office.
The Council discussed the arrangements to apply when Spain and Portugal are integrated into the Common Fisheries Policy on 1st January 1996. My honourable friend reiterated his determination to resist any proposals which would impose new bureaucratic restrictions on British fishermen and to protect the Irish
29 Nov 1994 : Column WA35
Box. A wide range of views was expressed. The Presidency decided that it was not possible to reach a decision at this meeting of the Council and is reflecting on how to take matters forward but with the firm intention of reaching a decision at the December Council meeting.
The Council approved a number of measures, concerning the organisation of the fisheries market, guide prices and tariff quotas. These items will be adopted formally in due course.
A proposal establishing rules for monitoring trade in certain Norwegian fishery products was adopted.
The Council considered the recent decision of the North West Atlantic Fisheries Organisation on the Greenland halibut TAC. This resulted in no new proposal.
The Council noted the Commission's report on the state of its negotiations with Russia for the purchase of
29 Nov 1994 : Column WA36
8,000 tonnes of cod, action which was agreed as part of the enlargement negotiations earlier this year.
The Council remitted for further work a Commission proposal on permits for EU vessels fishing in third country waters.
No votes were taken at this Council.
EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE REFERENCE
Lord Sefton of Garston asked Her Majesty's Government:
When the Court of Appeal referred to the European Court of Justice the case referred to in the letter from Viscount Astor (ref: POS(2)6125/1) and what steps have been taken to expedite this matter.
The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): A ruling by the European Court of Justice is not expected before July 1995 at the earliest.
It would not be appropriate for Ministers to seek to interfere with the independent processes of the courts.